Incoming Rangers manager Philippe Clement has been handed a golden opportunity to build title momentum v Hearts as Celtic slip up at Hibs.
The Parkhead side could’ve heaped the pressure on the incoming Belgian boss by moving ten points in front in the Scottish Premiership at Easter Road.
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But following a 0-0 draw in Edinburgh, Rangers could now finish the weekend within five of their arch rivals with the bulk of the season to play.
Whilst Hearts at Ibrox will be no gimme, Rangers returning after a tough if not resolute trip to the Czech Republic in midweek, this is the first big test of Philippe Clement’s title credentials.
No one at Rangers or at Ibrox will be getting carried away after Celtic drew yet another blank against Hibs, but if this confidence-sapped Ibrox side are serious about providing a Parkhead challenge then they quite simply must beat a determined Hearts and cut the gap at the top of the table.
Rangers handed Hearts chance as Celtic slip up v Hibs
If Rangers do so, it’ll mark a solid start to Philippe Clement’s opening three matches in charge with an impressive victory over Hibs last week coming before that hard-earned point in Prague.
The early sounds around the ex-Club Brugge and AS Monaco coach are certainly positive with so many of his soundbites around rebuilding confidence and implementing a winning mentality.
Whilst Rangers fans are under no illusions this will take time to implement, overcoming this first big Scottish Premiership test will symbolise shoots of recovery in this regard.
There remains huge questions about the mentality of this Rangers squad to respond when the chips are down and they remain unanswered at this early stage of Philippe Clement’s tenure.
The Belgian coach is tasked with reinforcing the mentality of a side who have perennially fell short at the final stages in the hunt for history at Ibrox.
As Celtic slip up away to Hibs, this under-pressure Rangers team now have the chance to prove they have what it takes to handle the pressure under Clement as Hearts roll into Ibrox.
Last week, Nick Montgomery was left fuming after an incident at Ibrox involving Philippe Clement but this weekend the Rangers boss many well be thanking the Hibs boss.